'If you don't sleep, your body is stressed, you crave food, your immune system is compromised.'

London - People spend almost five years of their lives worrying, a study has found.

About 86 percent of people in a survey described themselves as worriers.

And the research revealed we spend on average one hour and 50 minutes a day fretting, amounting to 12 hours and 53 minutes a week – or four years and 11 months across the average adult lifetime of 64 years.

Work was the most common worry listed by those polled, followed by financial concerns, being late, a loved one's health and their own health. Relationships, missing a train or bus, not waking up to their alarm, their appearance and their family's safety completed the top ten most common concerns.

The survey of 2 000 Britons also found 84 percent have lost sleep because of worrying. A spokesperson for herbal product company Rescue Remedy, which commissioned the research, said: “Worrying is only natural and most of us will spend moments concerned about something, but it's alarming to see just how long we spend fretting.It might not seem like we spend long worrying, but when you add it up over time, it accounts for a large chunk of our lives.

“But whether you are worried about work or money through to simply being late for something or how you look, your worries can mean you are too pre-occupied to get a restful night, become irritable and even impact on your relationships and friendships.

“Learning to deal with your worries is important and would mean you spend less time feeling worried, allowing you to enjoy more things without the concern of something going wrong or not to plan.”

More than six in 10 said worrying has affected their well-being while others admit it has led to arguments with their partner, relationship splits and even the loss of their job.

While more than a third (34 percent) are happy to share their concerns with others, one in four admit they always keep their worries bottled up.

As a result, 72 percent reckon they would worry less if they shared their concerns with others more often.

Eight in 10 also admitted they tend to worry more than they really need to about things, with 76 percent saying they are worrying more as they get older.

The study also found seven in 10 people have taken steps to try and calm settle themselves down when they are worrying about something, such as speaking to a friend or family member or exercising.

Others go for a walk to clear their head, avoid the situation altogether, or simply try to forget about it.

 

THE TOP 30 THINGS KEEPING US UP AT NIGHT

1. Work

2. Financial worries

3. Being late

4. A relative or friend's bad health

5. Bad health

6. Relationships

7. Missing a plane/train/bus

8. Not waking up for alarm

9. Appearance

10. Family safety

11. Eating too much

12. Dental problems

13. Being liked

14. Pet's health

15. Missing experiences

16. Growing old alone

17. Children staying healthy

18. Remember everything you need to do

19. Parents ageing

20. Being a victim of crime

21. Terrorism

22. The economy

23. Pension plan

24. What to wear at work

25. Being single

26. Partner having an affair

27. Drinking too much

28. Getting a mortgage

29. Children getting a good education

30. Hair loss

Daily Mail